Comics Anonymous

July 9, 2012, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Comic Reviews, Marvel Comics | Tags: , , , ,

Those of you with an iPhone, iPad or Android phone might have already tried this latest release from Marvel – their Augmented Reality (AR) app.  A further step towards taking advantage of the digital age we are in.  With Marvel’s completely digital Avengers vs X-Men: Infinite #1 already making a positive impression on the Comics Anonymous team – I was intrigued as to how this would work.

First off, I’ll confess that DVD extras have never really been something I pay much attention to – does anyone really care how the scene was shot, how the scene looks without the CGI in place or what commentary the director has on the process? Perhaps a bit cynical, but I’m sure I’m not alone with that view – although I was interested to see what impact this kind of approach would have on a printed form of entertainment.

Marvel’s Avengers vs X-Men seems to be their flag-ship title to promote their Infinite line and fully test out the options the AR app gives us. Having hit issue #7, I was able to take another run through the issues reminding myself of the story, keeping an eye out for their AR logo on particular panels and then wildly wave my iPad around trying to get the AR app to kick in and show me what extra material had been included.  As I worked through the issues I was pleased to see a mix of different ideas on show – something that is a must when trying a new approach, showing a clear indication of their “we’ll try it out and see what works” approach.

What we get from Marvel across the 7-issues so far are some brief interludes from Matt Fraction explaining his approach to particular scenes, scenes with much more meaning than you’d first expect.  Plus we get some “science” bits as we get an explanation on the best approach the Phoenix Force could take to destroy a planet, some explanation of the effects on Wolverines body after a fall from a plane through to the legal implications of the X-Men’s actions.  Not what I’d expected but these are all intermingled with “pencil to ink” sections where we see a scene, be it a 2-page spread or just a particular character appearance, shown in its earliest sketched form and built up to the completed page we see in front of us.

All a bit of fun and maybe not adding much to the story itself but it’s a clear step towards a cross-medium approach by Marvel with many of their titles offering free digital copy of the issue and AvsX is no exception to that.  In fact, this all ties in with the release of the Avengers vs X-Men: Infinte #6 so all in all, the AvsX title is the ‘go-to’ title for testing the water on the digital front.  True that some people will always go ‘old skool’ with a paper issue, I include myself in that, however its smart, gradual releases like the AR app and the Infinite issues that have definitely made an impression on me, at least and in a way that other digital titles on offer haven’t before.

I’ll be interested to see what other content Marvel have included on the rest of the AvsX arc and I’m scanning every panel I read an extra time in case it has that AR logo I’m keen to find.  Worth a go since it’s free but not sure how I’d feel if I had to pay for it on top of the issue itself.

G-Man – @gjwatson85

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